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Downtown Washington D.C.Washington

Art galleries, museums and theaters as well as vibrant entertainment, nightlife and shopping districts await in this city center neighborhood.

Downtown Washington D.C. is an urban city center neighborhood where people live, play and work. It’s a clean, safe and walkable area with wide avenues and tree-lined pavements. In Downtown Washington D.C. you’ll discover some of the city’s best galleries and museums, eclectic restaurants and bustling nightlife. Watch sporting events, attend star-studded concerts and relax in leafy parks.

Art and history enthusiasts are spoiled for choice in Downtown Washington D.C. Retrace the history of American architecture, design and urban planning at the National Building Museum. Interact with the hands-on displays and inspect the photography exhibitions at the National Geographic Museum. Visit the galleries of the National Archives Museum and see a celebration of women’s art at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Find more museums in the Penn Quarter, including the International Spy Museum and Marian Koshland Science Museum. Admire presidential portraits at the National Portrait Gallery and a showcase of national art at Smithsonian American Art Museum. Catch a performance at the Ford’s Theater and Shakespeare Theatre Company or spot celebrity waxwork models at Madame Tussaud’s Washington D.C. Watch concerts by famous acts or basketball and ice hockey matches at the Verizon Center.

Stroll through Chinatown, where Asian shops and restaurants share the streets with lively pubs and nightclubs. Check out the Friendship Archway, a Chinese gateway decorated with a multi-tiered roof and around 270 painted dragons.

Go to Lafayette Square, from where you can catch a glimpse of the iconic White House. Like nearby Farragut Square, Franklin Square and McPherson Square, it’s a great place to sit and watch the world go by.

Downtown Washington D.C. is served by six metro stations, which provide access to the city’s five Metrorail lines. It’s also one of the city’s most bike-friendly neighborhoods.

Visit the official websites of the Downtown Washington D.C.’s galleries and museums for admission fees, opening times and event schedules.


Popular places to visit in Downtown Washington D.C.

International Spy Museum
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International Spy Museum

4.5/5(225 reviews)

The shadowy world of espionage comes under the spotlight in a museum where nothing is quite as it seems. 

National Gallery of Art
Image for National Gallery of Art

National Gallery of Art

4.5/5(69 reviews)

As classic as it looks, this building contains a huge assortment of the world’s treasures. Immerse yourself in collections for all tastes.

Newseum
Image for Newseum

Newseum

4.5/5(160 reviews)

Investigate the inner workings of the world’s news media and create your own headlines at this engrossing museum.  

Ford's Theater
Image for Ford's Theater

Ford's Theater

4.5/5(863 reviews)

Ford's Theater is a popular theater with a rich history in Washington. Add the area's shops or notable monuments to your travel plans.

National Portrait Gallery
Image for National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery is a popular museum in Washington with a rich history. Experience the area's fascinating museums and entertainment choices.

Smithsonian American Art Museum
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Smithsonian American Art Museum

4.5/5(81 reviews)

Smithsonian American Art Museum is a popular museum in Washington with a rich history. Experience the area's fascinating museums and great live music.

Top things to do in Downtown Washington D.C.

DC at Dusk Night Tour
Image for DC at Dusk Night Tour

DC at Dusk Night Tour

$58
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Washington DC African American Heritage Tour/Ticket to MAAHC
Image for Washington DC African American Heritage Tour/Ticket to MAAHC

Washington DC African American Heritage Tour/Ticket to MAAHC

$82
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Magic LED Guided Night Tour 3hr Pick up/Drop off & Earpieces
Image for Magic LED Guided Night Tour 3hr Pick up/Drop off & Earpieces

Magic LED Guided Night Tour 3hr Pick up/Drop off & Earpieces

$55
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Washington DC National Monuments by Moonlight Trolley Tour
Image for Washington DC National Monuments by Moonlight Trolley Tour

Washington DC National Monuments by Moonlight Trolley Tour

$45
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
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Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

$39
Per adult
76% of travellers recommend
Private Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of Washington DC
Image for Private Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of Washington DC

Private Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of Washington DC

$384
Per adult

Top Hotels in Downtown Washington D.C.

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Yours Truly DC
Yours Truly DC
4 out of 5
1143 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC
The price is $106 per night

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of George Washington University, White House, and Lincoln Memorial. Walter E. Washington ...

4.3/5Excellent! (36 reviews)

"Your Truly is an amazing hotel! The staff and environment make you feel comfortable and inviting. I highly recommend staying there if you are visiting DC."…"

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2020

Yours Truly DC
AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown
AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown
4 out of 5
1112 19TH STREET NW, Washington, DC
The price is $87 per night

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of World Bank and Dupont Circle. George Washington University and White House are ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (58 reviews)

"The hotel is clean and everything is perfect!"…"

Reviewed on Aug 4, 2020

AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown
Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square
Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square
5 out of 5
806 15th Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $151 per night

This family-friendly Washington hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of White House, Ford's Theater, and National Museum of African American ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (1,342 reviews)

"Great property, very nice/helpful staff. Only downfall was no food/snacks offered for purchase since restaurant was closed"…"

Reviewed on Jul 19, 2020

Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square
Hamilton Hotel Washington DC
Hamilton Hotel Washington DC
4 out of 5
1001 14th St NW, Washington, DC
The price is $105 per night

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lafayette Square, White House, and CityCenterDC. Walter E. Washington ...

4.2/5Excellent! (2,936 reviews)

"Clean and friendly staff. Reasonable rates. Good location."…"

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2020

Hamilton Hotel Washington DC
Grand Hyatt Washington
Grand Hyatt Washington
4 out of 5
1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $152 per night

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of CityCenterDC and Ford's Theater. White House and Walter E. Washington Convention ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,147 reviews)

"Staff was great, very helpful, room was great, Covid 19 guildlines met perfectly."…"

Reviewed on Aug 4, 2020

Grand Hyatt Washington
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
3 out of 5
901 L Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $93 per night

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Ford's Theater, and Capital One Arena. ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (525 reviews)

"Clean, and nice staff."…"

Reviewed on Aug 3, 2020

Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center

Other neighborhoods in Washington

Washington which includes night scenes, a city and street scenes

Chinatown

Abundant dining options, interesting museums and important monuments are just a few things travelers love about Chinatown. Sights like Capital One Arena and International Spy Museum are top spots to explore, and you can get around the greater Washington area at Gallery Place Chinatown Station.

Chinatown
A late night stroll through Logan Circle. Great flats and homes to appreciate while walking towards local restaurants and bars.
Brittany Friddell on trover

Logan Circle

5/5Exceptional!(3 area reviews)

Logan Circle is known for its popular shops, and with sights like Studio Theatre and Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Washington.

Logan Circle
Sculpture on top of the Howard Theater
Brian V. Rowe on trover

Shaw

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

Travelers can't get enough of the abundant dining options in Shaw. If you want to get around town and see some sights, jump on the metro at Shaw Station.

Shaw
Dupont Circle which includes a monument and a statue or sculpture

Dupont Circle

4.5/5Wonderful!(2,793 area reviews)

Visitors to Dupont Circle love its fantastic nightlife, and you can check out Dupont Circle and Phillips Collection. If you want to see more in the area, you can get around town on the metro at Dupont Circle Station.

Dupont Circle
Georgetown - Foggy Bottom which includes a memorial, a city and a statue or sculpture

Foggy Bottom

4.5/5Wonderful!(1,220 area reviews)

Important monuments and popular shops are a few of the things travelers enjoy most about Foggy Bottom. A visit to Watergate Complex or World Bank is also recommended, and you can jump aboard the metro at Foggy Bottom Station to get around town.

Foggy Bottom
Capitol Hill showing heritage elements, a garden and an administrative buidling

Capitol Hill

4/5Very Good!(2,968 area reviews)

Known for its fascinating museums and important monuments, there's plenty to explore in Capitol Hill. Check out top attractions like United States Capitol and Washington Navy Yard, and jump on the metro at Capitol South Station or Eastern Market Station to see more of the city.

Capitol Hill

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